Zahra's Paradise

Zahra's Paradise

Hardcover

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Overview

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Set in the aftermath of Iran's fraudulent elections of 2009, Zahra's Paradise is the fictional graphic novel of the search for Mehdi, a young protestor who has vanished into an extrajudicial twilight zone. What's keeping his memory from being obliterated is not the law. It is the grit and guts of his mother, who refuses to surrender her son to fate, and the tenacity of his brother, a blogger, who fuses tradition and technology to explore and explode the void in which Mehdi has vanished.

Zahra's Paradise weaves together fiction and real people and events. As the world witnessed the aftermath of Iran's fraudulent elections, through YouTube videos, on Twitter, and in blogs, this story came into being. The global response to this gripping tale has been passionate—an echo of the global outcry during the political upheaval of the summer of 2009.

Zahra's Paradise is a first on the internet, a first for graphic novels, and a first in the history of political dissidence. Zahra's Paradise is being serialized online.

Zahra's Paradise is a Publishers Weekly Best Comics title for 2011.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781596436428
Publisher: First Second
Publication date: 09/13/2011
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 582,434
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Amir is an Iranian-American human rights activist, journalist and documentary filmmaker. He has lived and worked in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Afghanistan. His essays and articles have appeared far and wide in the press. Khalil's work as a fine artist has been much praised. He has been cartooning since he was very young. Zahra's Paradise is his first graphic novel. Both Amir and Khalil have chosen to remain anonymous for political reasons.

Reading Group Guide

For Discussion:
Zahra's Paradise
is a graphic novel, a story told in words and pictures. How do you think this story would be told differently if it was a novel, with only words? How would it be different if it was a movie, with just pictures?
Zahra's Paradise is a story about the 2009 Iranian elections and their aftermath. What view of the elections and the new regime does this story propound? Do you think it paints an accurate picture?
Zahra's Paradise contains an extensive selection of back matter. Did any of it affect your reading of the book?
The author of this book is Iranian-American. How do you think that affected the way he told this story?
How do you think the blogger's quest for his brother would have worked differently if this story was set in the United States? How are our political and cultural systems different from
Iran's?
Much of this story focuses on Iran's secret prisons. Why do countries have secret prisons? Is a secret prison ever a good idea?
The internet and the copy shop – two places where grassroots social media starts – are very useful to the blogger in this book. Do you feel that how they are depicted is an accurate reflection of how the world works today?
Contrast the way that people behave in Zahra's Paradise to your own personal ideas of peoples' lives in the Middle East. What's the same? What's different?
This book is in many ways a call to arms. What action might it inspire you to?
How well do you feel that the art grounds the situations in the book? Is it more powerful to

see the images than it would be to just read the text?

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